New bond entity might raise fees

By Pam Schmidt

The establishment of a new bond revenue entity might trigger a struggle for the use of a $10 million parity bond and, in turn, increase student fees.

The possibility of making the NIU Parking Division a bond revenue entity is in the request stages. If approved at the December Board of Regents meeting, a proposed $2.5 million might be allocated from the parity bond to cover the costs of improving the parking situation on campus.

The parking division also would be responsible for its own expenses, to be financed by student fees. Ad Hoc Committee Chairman Bill Parker said parking fees would increase.

The Ad Hoc Parking Committee has sent a proposal to the Regents requesting authorization to improve the parking situation on campus, including the creation of 1,200 new parking spaces across campus.

Also, NIU President John LaTourette’s office this week denied the bond revenue fee review team’s request to use part of the bond money and instructed the team to re-evaluate possible ways of financing the repair projects recommended for fiscal year 1989.

The order came after several weeks of team meetings to develop three-year budgets and student fee evaluations based on allocation of more than $1 million from the refinanced bond.

evenue Bond Operations Director Bill Herrmann said the denial to use the bond money might translate into a student fee increase needed to cover the cost of repairing the brick damage on the Holmes Student Center and repairs to the seating and astroturf in the Huskie Stadium.

The money for the construction, maintenance and repair of the bond revenue areas must be taken from bond revenue funds. Areas funded by bond revenue include the HSC, the stadium and Chick Evans Field House and the Recreation Center.

The parity bond, which was the result of a refinancing of the bond revenue issues, must be used to support student fee-supported areas on campus.

“The issue could have been handled in the President’s Fee Study Committee,” Herrmann said. “But we didn’t think it would be appropriate to come in cold on the issue. We wanted to investigate and make a recommendation to the committee.”

Eddie Williams, vice president for finance and planning, said although LaTourette does not have any specific plans for the money, his action to deny the request indicates he is trying to move the committee to consider more economical means before turning to the bond money.

Williams said the university is using two principles to plan for the use of the money. One principle includes the guaranteed payback of the money. “However we use the money, we must guarantee a return on the money. The money must be supported some how,” he said.

Williams also said the university must be sure the money is used on projects which can be done in “the most economical way” and still have the “least impact on existing fees.”